Medical school can be expensive for many students, so it’s wise to manage your expenses and cut costs where you can, including travelling costs.
Whether you are going to see family or friends, travelling in the summer or participating in the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), here are a few tips to help minimize those costs.
Ask a colleague
Whether you’re travelling for CaRMS or for other purposes, informed colleagues can help. They may have tips that will save you time and money—for example, where to stay and where to eat.
Trains, planes and automobiles
Transportation can be a major component of your travel expenses. Don’t forget to ask for student rates when you are making any reservations. In addition, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) members get discounts from Via Rail, Enterprise car rental and Porter Airlines. See CMA member discounts for more information.
Most companies offer member programs that allow you to accumulate points or privileges on every trip. Make sure to find out about these programs. Check with family members to see if they will donate points for you to use.
If you have friends, relatives and former colleagues in a destination city, consider asking them for possible accommodations, particularly during brief stopovers. You can also try to stay at university residences and apartment complexes to avoid costly hotel bills. The Canadian University and College Conference Organizers Association offers campus listings of educational institutions that wish to promote the use of their facilities, particularly during the spring and summer months. As a CMA member, you can also get discounts from several hotel chains.
Many credit card companies offer rewards or cash back, often free of charge for medical students. Paying for your travel expenses by credit card has a few advantages: there is always an interest-free grace period between the purchase date and the payment due date, and some cards offer insurance on car rentals and even some types of travel insurance. Ask your credit card company for more information to make sure that you benefit from all the advantages.
To learn more about money management, contact an MD Advisor with the MD MedEd CounselTM. MD MedEd CounselTM is a team of MD Advisors and Early Career Specialists dedicated exclusively to medical student and residents. Find an MD Advisor near you.